Leading arts venue, the MAC, Belfast, is set to welcome back visitors to its galleries and Café Bar this week, opening its doors for the first time in 2021 from 10am – 4pm, Wednesday – Sunday.
In preparation for reopening, The MAC completed surveys to gauge public feeling towards returning to their galleries, theatres and shared spaces. They asked visitors and artists what they wished to see when they arrived and prioritised safety measures accordingly.
Social distancing guidance and one way systems remain, while new ways of managing queues and audiences are now in operation. Adapted opening hours, hand sanitising stations and ticketed gallery visits are also in place, so customers can view the exhibitions and visit the ground floor Café Bar in a safe and managed fashion.
Costs have been also been reviewed, with the MAC sticking with its pricing promises of free admission to galleries as well as tasty brunch and lunch menus delivering value for money without any dilution in quality.
Speaking ahead of the reopening, Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC explained what visitors can expect on their return to the MAC. She said:
“We are relieved, excited and thrilled to reopen our doors and for the MAC to again offer our visitors and friends access to outstanding contemporary visual art. Our beautiful venue will also give people of all ages, interests and backgrounds a chance to chill out while enjoying a delicious lunch or a coffee and bun.
“The Executive has now given us an indicative date of June 21st to work towards the return of live events, including theatre. That is very welcome, but in reality, it will be some time beyond June that live events can start again. Like our colleagues across the arts and cultural sector, we will be working with the Department for Communities and health officials to get to that place as quickly as possible.
“In the meantime, we are delighted to present three exciting new art exhibitions. Our customers have told us that they are extremely keen to have the arts back in their lives and we expect to have significant numbers of visitors next week and throughout the summer. We look forward to welcoming each and every one of them.”
The MAC reopens with three new exhibitions of work from Ambera Wellmann (Upper Gallery), Maya Balcioglu (Tall Gallery) and Jaap Pieters (Sunken Gallery). One booking provides admittance to all three exhibitions.
Anne McReynolds describes the exhibition programme as another example of the MAC acting as a magnet for the most exciting work by today’s most exciting local, national and international visual artists. She continued:
“These three exhibitions give all of us in Northern Ireland a series of firsts: the first exhibition in the UK and Ireland of the contemporary art world’s critically acclaimed, rising star Ambera Wellmann, the first exhibition of a new body of work by Maya Balcioglu and the first survey exhibition of Dutch artist Jaap Pieters’ sensitive exploration of people who have fallen through the cracks of society.
We are proud to bring this wonderful and important work to Northern Ireland.”
For tickets and more information on the reopening of the MAC, visit www.themaclive.com.